3 charged with abusing corpse with saltwater, cleaning fluid

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Two men and a juvenile face felony charges of abusing a corpse after a multi-person drug binge turned deadly late last month.

Warrants have been issued for Roberto Vega, 31, of Pearl Street charging him with felony abuse of a corpse and felony tampering with evidence. Warrants have also been issued for David Jenkins, 42, of East Ravenwood Avenue, charging him with felony abuse of a corpse.

A 17-year-old city male also is expected to be charged with felony abuse of a corpse next week in the case.

The warrant deals with the death of 47-year-old William Lewis, who was found in a car on Griselda Avenue on Feb. 24. The warrant says the three individuals “treated a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities.”

The two men and teen are believed to have injected the victim’s body with a saltwater solution, poured cleaning fluid in the victim’s mouth, then robbed him of about $400 and left his body on the South Side to be discovered.

According to police, Lewis is believed to have been smoking crack cocaine at Jenkins’ East Ravenwood house when he collapsed and died. Vega is believed to have called Jenkins and the 17-year-old, who were both at a home in Campbell, for instructions on how to perform CPR.

Police say the teen, who later told police he has been smoking crack since he was 14 and has used a saltwater solution to revive himself, told Vega to inject the man with saltwater.

The three later reportedly used household cleaner on the victim in an attempt to remove any DNA from the attempted CPR.

The victim was then left at the South Side location after his money was taken and tools stolen from his vehicle.